From grilled cheese sandwiches that combine mac and cheese and barbecue, to Vietnamese sandwiches and Pan-Asian tacos, there’s something for everyone when it comes to the booming Charlotte food truck scene. The Queen City got a slow start on the mobile kitchen front, but now it’s all the rage with more than 100 trucks to choose from and regular rallies in every part of town. If you want to take part in the fun, you better act fast – the trucks roll off the street when the temperatures drop. (SB TIP: Many will still have semi-permanent gigs at area breweries and are still for hire for catering and private parties.) We did some tough research (Yes, taste testing is hard work!) to help make sure you get your food truck fix for fall. Just be sure you check their websites and social channels for schedules and locations as they frequently change.
Charlotte Food Trucks You Must Try!
They call themselves the OG food truck in Charlotte because they’ve been around since 2010 serving tacos, sliders and quesadillas with unique ingredients. But they really started to get a lot of attention a few years ago when The Food Network highlighted their buffalo-style cauliflower sliders and pork belly tacos.
Papi Queso is home to a very grown up grilled cheese, and this so-called grilled cheese streetery is another Food Network favorite. “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” raved about the wildly popular Pig Mac sandwich, which is made with pulled pork and caramelized bourbon onions, all shoved in between layers of mac and cheese. It tastes like Heaven between two slices of bread!
A founding member of Charlotte’s SouthEnd Food Truck Rally, the owners of this dessert truck really helped turn the food truck scene into a scene. Often called out for having the best ice cream in the city, the Sticks and Cones menu includes toppings like homemade lemon curd, gourmet balsamic vinegars, chocolate-covered coffee beans, pink Himalayan sea salt, pomegranate molasses served with pistachios and more.
Fresh Med offers all kinds of fun fusion dishes, but this Charlotte food truck is best known for its lamb burger. You should really sample the fettuccine pasta and alfredo sauce that’s wrapped in bacon and deep-fried. Aside from that, the owners pride themselves on making everything from scratch right there in the truck and with the freshest ingredients.
Maki Taco features Pan-Asian tacos and Japanese hibachi and is popular with people trying to eat healthy while still eating from a truck. They offer tacos with a twist as well as vegan and vegetarian options. Known for using fresh vegetables and vibrant, homemade sauces as well as fresh all-natural proteins, they make gourmet, healthy food taste amazing!
Known as the bistro on wheels, they have an eclectic — and changing — menu of blackened fish, Korean beef, 12-hour hickory-smoked pulled pork, chicken dishes, smoked meatloaf, fried deviled eggs, house-made fried pimento cheese balls (yes – fried. Pimento cheese. Balls!) and smoked salmon.
A welcome addition to the food truck scene, Yummi Banh Mi serves up tasty Vietnamese sandwiches, rice bowls and tacos. We’re talking authentic banh mi sandwiches – baguettes topped with beef, pork or chicken, and side dishes like cage fried eggs and a freshly squeezed Vietnamese limeade.
One of Charlotte’s first food trucks, Boones is known for its ribs, homemade Brunswick stew and pulled pork. And their sauces? Well, let’s just say they’re secret family recipes that have been passed down through the generations.
Food Truck Rallies to Check Out
If you’re ready to check out your options for Charlotte’s food truck scene, your best bet is to attend a food truck rally. Most of the trucks rotate their locations, but they also gather regularly at these rallies. Here’s a rundown of the most popular. Click the links for all the deets.
Find out about more amazing places to eat around Charlotte. Check out our Food & Dining section!